LPG expediting – INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING
LPG expediting as the name suggests refers to speeding up the turn-around time of the vessel whilst at berth or if carrying out STS operations with daughter vessels which is only one of the aspects of the job. The other aspect is ensuring that the cargo operations are carried out in safe and efficient manner to the satisfaction of the terminal or other vessel always keeping LPG safety procedures in mind so as to ensure cargo operations are carried out in a safe manner. The undersigned Senior Marine Surveyor from Constellation Marine who has been a Tanker Master onboard LPG tankers and carrying out LPG expediting work whilst sailing has been nominated by one of our overseas clients for being an LPG expeditor onboard the mother vessel who will be carrying out STS operations with 3 to 4 daughter vessels around Early May 2016. A brief overview of LPG expediting jobs carried out in the past by the senior master mariner and what is expected are mentioned herewith.
The liquefied petroleum senior tanker Master was involved in various LPG expediting jobs for leading ship owners in the following scenarios onboard their ships:
LPG expediting-To Assist in the Loading Operations:
The job of the LPG expeditor starts well before start of cargo operations. The undersigned Tanker Master boarded the Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) of 42465 GT, on couple of occasions, at Fujairah in order to carry out various checks onboard and getting her cargo tanks super cooled so as to ensure that the tanks are ready for loading. Stayed on board the vessel until she reached her load port Mina Al Ahmadi, Kuwait. Prior loading ensured that all the cargo related checks are carried out and the ship line up is proper to ensure that the vessel’s loading operations are performed without any operational constraints. The Tanker Master advising the vessel Master and mate with regards to the safe and efficient way of expediting the cargo loading operations in order to achieve a quick turnaround of the vessel in order to fulfill with the requirement of only 24 hours port stay.
LPG expediting-To Assist in the Discharging Operations:
For discharging operations, it is essential that all the cargo pumps and electrical equipment are tested in advance to avoid last minute challenges. The undersigned boarded the VLGC at Colombo, Sri Lanka which had come out of dry dock and was on her maiden discharge operations planned at Vishakhapatnam, India. Boarding the vessel couple of days earlier was essential so as to ensure all deep well pumps are tried out including the booster pumps and heater/evaporator. Also megger testing of cargo pumps, compressors, Booster pump and other cargo related equipment are carried out. Testing the booster system at Vishakhapatnam only heater booster discharge operations take place. The purpose of the above checks in addition to the regular pre arrival checks are to ensure that the cargo operations are carried out efficiently and safely. Also assisted the chief mate with regards to cargo calculations and minimizing the outturn loss on pro rata basis as B/L figure was shore figures which was approx. 50 MT less than ship figures. Stayed onboard during the entire discharging operations. Ensured that the vessel’s discharging operations were performed without any operational constraints.
LPG expediting-Daily reporting:
The reporting for the above operations to the ship owner’s operation manager on a daily basis (every Noon) were carried out with the following topics covered:-
- Cargo Tank pressures and temperatures (during loading and discharging)
- Manifold temperature and pressures recorded.
- Average loading / discharging rate achieved.
- Total quantity of cargo loaded / discharged.
- Estimated ETC of the cargo operations.
- Any stoppages or issues faced on-board the vessel during the operation.
- Any Letter of protest issued during the operations by either party.